What is RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing)

What is RPO? RPO stands for recruitment process outsourcing, and that’s it.

Many websites will tack on more jargon to the definition of RPO such as, “recruitment process outsourcing is a form of business process outsourcing where employers transfer all or part of its recruitment processes to an external service provider.”

Simply put, recruitment process outsourcing (RPO) is having an external RPO provider take charge of some or all of your company’s recruitment process. This means handling everything from finding candidates, to interviewing them, and advising you in the final stages of your hiring decision. They provide the technology and the expertise to help you lower recruiting costs and perform these tasks without you having to hire your own internal team.
Accolo’s Definition of Successful RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing):
 Connecting the two most important people in the hiring process: the hiring manager and the best possible candidate for the job. 


What are Different RPO and Recruiting Services?

RPO services range from the complete outsourcing of a company’s hiring function to project-based and on-demand RPO, and differ greatly from staffing firms and contingency recruiters. Here’s the skinny on the different RPO and recruiting services:

  1. Contingency Staffing Firms – Contingency staffing firms differ from RPO providers, because they are typically used when a one-off hiring need arises. These staffing firms are brought on for temporary or temp-to-hire positions. Contingent staffing services are a dime-a-dozen, and rarely focus on finding the most qualified and best-fit candidates for their clients. Reimbursement for staffing agencies depends on their ability to place candidates before competitors can swoop in with their own prospects, making speed, not quality, their top priority. With regards to continent staffing firms, you’ll typically see a lower hiring manager satisfaction compared to RPO recruiting firms.
  2. RPO Recruiting – RPO, however, differs greatly from contingency recruiters. RPO providers aren’t there just to fill a job and call it a day, but help organizations improve upon their hiring in general. Successful RPO partnerships result in improvements upon the overall hiring process and are meant to be long-term partnerships to ensure a consistent talent pipeline. RPO providers are essentially an extension of your organization and your recruiting department, and they have your company’s best interests at heart. The primary focus of RPO is not in filling jobs, but providing high quality hires and increasing hiring manager satisfaction. The RPO provider’s job doesn’t end with filling the position either. An RPO recruiter will continuously analyze turnover, technology, and other parts of the hiring equation to better suit their client.

Proactive Recruiting vs Reactive Recruiting

The differences between Contingency recruiting and RPO recruiting can also be broken down as reactive and proactive. Contingency recruiters are reactive — you hire them when you have a specific need to hire someone for a specific role. Though agency recruiters may be able to fill that job, they have little incentive to think about the aftermath of that hire. Time is money, but you’re going to spend a whole lot more time (and money) in the long run when your hires are made hastily. After all, what’s the point of hiring someone who you’re going to want to fire before the year is out?

On the other hand, RPO recruiting is proactive. RPO partnerships begin by assessing the talent needs of their clients, meeting with hiring managers and company leaders alike to gain the best understanding of their hiring needs and methods. Because RPO providers take this comprehensive approach to hiring, they are able to bridge the gap between talent acquisition, talent management and strategy. Through the use of proactive sourcing techniques, providers are able to ensure that your organization has a growing talent community, and is always prepared to bring in qualified candidates.

What Does RPO Recruiting Mean for Your HR department?

When your internal HR team handles recruiting, their attention will be divided between the nitty-gritty details of the recruitment process and high-level, strategic HR planning. Instead of working on succession planning or employee engagement initiatives, their time will be eaten up by the need to post job ads, analyze resumes and interview candidates. Is this how you want your full time employees to be spending their days? Drowning in resumes and paperwork? Sitting through interviews with so-so candidates? Pulling out their hair? Or, would you rather give them the time to focus on the big picture?

By leveraging an RPO service, you free up your HR team to focus on the processes and planning that make your company a great place to work. Though you are outsourcing your recruiting process, you’re mostly outsourcing the stuff that your team doesn’t want to deal with.

Instead of slogging through your candidate pool, your HR staff will be able to focus on your company’s talent needs and evaluating the very best candidates that the RPO provider presents to them.They’ll also have the bandwidth to continuously improve upon your recruiting function, turnover rates, employee profiles and more to determine which candidates will be the best long-term match for your business.

RPO Problems

Though RPO is a great match for the talent needs of many companies, it’s no silver bullet. One of the biggest issues that face organizations today with RPO providers, is the need to sign up for long term contracts and hundreds of jobs up front. In order to provide a more adaptable, scalable solution, RPO organizations like ours are implementing a “try it before you buy it” model.

Because RPO relationships are meant to be long-term, we want you to see what it’s like to work with us before having to commit. Consider it the dating stage of the relationship process. You provide a hand full of jobs and watch as Accolo’s years recruiting expertise go to work for you. This trial period allows you to see how our process works, get a feel for our technology and team, and determine if it’s the right fit.

You do the same thing when considering new software, so why wouldn’t you want to test out RPO services the same way? You can learn more about our services here.

Is Your Business Ready for RPO?

If you’re reading this, then you’re probably ready for RPO. You’ve evaluated the different recruitment support options available, and have determined that you need a long-term partner to help manage your recruiting process. Even if you’re still unsure about the solution you’ll choose, RPO services will help any company to improve their hiring while reducing the fixed costs of hiring.

A typical profile of a company ready for RPO is a business that is experiencing high growth, but is looking to cut down on their overhead recruiting costs, without sacrificing quality. You want a solution that’s going to work now and in the future. You’re looking for a long-term partner to manage the details of the recruiting process, so you can focus on your company’s core strengths. Businesses in all industries use RPO and experience the best of both worlds: sourcing and hiring top talent without the headache that goes into making a great hire.

Determining if an RPO Vendor is Right for You  (How to Determine if an RPO Vendor is Right for You)

When looking at RPO providers, look for fit. You want to find an organization that you want to work with now, and that you can see yourself working with in the future. And that goes double for the people in that organization!

You may be tempted to choose some of the larger, global RPO providers because of their history of success, but that’s only part of the picture. Many of these global RPO providers only handle projects that are as large as they are, and aren’t suited for the talent needs of every company.

The best way to determine if an RPO vendor is right for you, it to look for the best fit with your company. Look for a service provider based on their experience working with companies similar to yours. Experience making hires in your industry is important, but looking for a cultural fit between your organization and the RPO providers is even more crucial. Ideally, an RPO partnership provides you with more than just good hires. When you find an RPO that you want to work with, they can be an extension of your company and your brand, building relationships with your organization and the top talent in your industry.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out Accolo’s scalable, on-demand RPO services if you want to make better hires without sacrificing the valuable time of your employees.